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    Victory, Defeat, Gender, and Disability: Blind War Veterans in Interwar Czechoslovakia

    Newman, John Paul and Luptak, Adam (2020) Victory, Defeat, Gender, and Disability: Blind War Veterans in Interwar Czechoslovakia. Journal of Social History, 53 (3). pp. 604-619. ISSN 1527-1897

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    This article examines the intersection between disability, gender, victory, and defeat in interwar Czechoslovakia. We look at a small but prominent group of disabled veterans: men who lost their sight fighting in the Austro-Hungarian army in the First World War. These veterans, unlike men who had fought in the pro-Entente Legionary divisions, were not celebrated in official and patriotic discourse in the First Republic. They had to find alternative outlets to express their place in society as disabled men. Through analysis of the most important associations for blind veterans, interwoven with a series of case studies, we consider how disability weakened, but did not completely remove, the social and cultural barriers that existed in interwar Czechoslovakia between “victorious” and “defeated” war veterans. We also analyze a series of literary and professional responses to blindness that show how blind veterans’ masculinity was renegotiated in the wake of their disability. Blind war veterans were considered throughout Czechoslovak society as the embodiment and the epitome of the disabled subject; their experiences thus speak more generally to the manner in which disability was experienced as a socially enforced category in Czechoslovakia.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Adam Luptak, John Paul Newman, Victory, Defeat, Gender, and Disability: Blind War Veterans in Interwar Czechoslovakia, Journal of Social History, Volume 53, Issue 3, Spring 2020, Pages 604–619,
    Keywords: Disability; Blind War Veterans; Czechoslovakia; First World War; Czechoslovak society;
    Academic Unit: Centre for European and Eurasian Studies
    Faculty of Arts & Humanities > History
    Item ID: 15673
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: IR Editor
    Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2022 17:21
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Social History
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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